I was talking to a good friend of mine this morning and she popped out a phrase I hadn’t heard for a long time. She said, “I don’t have enough bandwidth for that”. I immediately started giggling. It took me back to my corporate days. That was such a phrase we used to use. Translation; “I don’t have the time or capacity really.” And there were many, many jargon filled days like this. It almost felt like we were speaking a secret language in there, not accessible to the outside world. At the end of the day, once we left the microcosm behind those concrete walls, only then were we free to drop back to our everyday colloquialisms.
Phrases such as, ‘I’m not across that level of detail’ (I’m too high level) or ‘I just want us to be cognisant of the fact that…’ (Let’s be mindful of… ) or ‘The DMV is not responding to the S3K and as a result we need to XYZ it.’ (This last one is just a total dig at the amount of acronyms being bandied about.)
I realise this may be considered ‘poking fun’. It is. I’m doing it with a wry smile. I lived it. I relished in it. It felt good to say those things and have purpose behind them and feel a part of something that others might not understand.
But it also feels good to speak my own language. One that I’m sure many, many of us corporates have and are just unsure of how to wangle it into the everyday of work. I wonder how it would go down if we said, ‘let’s throw it up to the universe to decide’ or, ‘that totally resonates with me’ or my personal favourite, ‘I like/don’t like the energy in this room right now’.
You are not alone in getting caught up in the seductive language that is corporate speak. And you are not alone in what you really want to say.